Software » Camtasia Relay

ID #1026

How to Create a Ghost 8.0 Network Boot CD

Scott Barker

Information School
University of Washington

Symantec Ghost provides a Boot Wizard to assist in the creation of a Network boot disk. This allows you to initiate a Ghost session with a remote Ghost server without using the Ghost Console. This is desirable when the Ghost console client is not already installed on the machine you wish to re-image, or if the machine has failed and needs to be rebuilt from scratch.

Unfortunately, in Ghost 8.0 the size of the Ghost executable file has almost doubled in size from version 7.5, meaning that you can longer create a single boot floppy that includes both the software necessary to initialize the network card and the executable file necessary to load and run Ghost.

Instead the Symantec Ghost Boot Wizard creates (2) floppies, one that includes the network drivers that load on boot, and a second floppy that includes the Ghost executable. Quite frankly it is a pain to have to use two floppies each time you want to Ghost a machine so I was looking for a better alternative. I had gotten used to using a Ghost Boot CD with previous versions of Ghost and not having this ability in Ghost 8.0 was a major annoyance.

Creating a boot CD when using Ghost 8.0 is a problem because while many CD burning applications can easily create a bootable CD from a floppy disk image, if everything doesn't fit on a single floppy it is much more complex. At this time Symantec does not support creating Ghost Boot CD’s so you are on your own figuring out how to do this.

To work around these issues there are several solutions.

The easiest solution if you would like to create a bootable CD for Ghost that supports a single network card is to begin by adding a CD-ROM device driver to your boot floppy along with the old DOS MSCDEX.EXE program. MSCDEX was used in past versions of DOS to allow a CD to be made accessible to the operating system.

By adding a CD-ROM device driver and MSCDEX to the boot floppy, it is possible to create a single boot CD that can both load the necessary networking software and the Ghost executable. More importantly, with a few modifications to this process you can create a single boot CD that supports multiple network cards!!!

Basic Method to support a single network card

Run the Ghost 8.0 Boot Wizard and create a Network Boot disk.

Hit Next

Select an NDIS2 driver (not a Packet Driver) for the NIC card you have and select Next

Select Use MS-DOS (recommended as PC-DOS doesn’t work well on some machines). If you haven’t previously installed the MS-DOS files you will need an MS-DOS boot floppy from an old Windows 98 installation and then you’ll need to click the “Get MS-DOS” button on the screen above. Once you have done this the first time, you will not have to do it again, Ghost will save the necessary files for you.

Select “Symantec Ghost” as the client to include, verify the location where the GHOST.EXE file exists and click Next


Most users should leave unchecked the Override BIOS settings and click Next

Select DHCP if you want this boot CD to be able to obtain an IP address dynamically and click Next

Verify the location where your floppy disk drive is located from this screen:

Click Next to begin the process of creating your floppy boot disks. Note Ghost will issue a warning that everything won’t fit on a single floppy and will tell you that it is going to create a two disk set.

Accept this warning by clicking OK.

Ghost will ask you to format a couple of floppies and then it will copy the necessary files to these floppies. Located on floppy 1 will be the network files appropriate for your network card and on the 2nd floppy will be the ghost executable file (GHOST.EXE). Floppy disk 1 will look something like this:

Preparing the Ghost Boot Floppies to Create a CD

You will need to manually add a couple of files to the 1st Ghost Boot Wizard generated Floppy before you can create a bootable CD.

First, use Notepad or a similar editor to create a file called "mouse.ini". Place mouse.ini at the root of the floppy. The contents of mouse.ini should be:


MouseType = PS2

If you don't create the mouse.ini file, some versions of DOS will try and write to the filesystem when is loading during the boot-up process. This will generate an error with an abort, retry, ignore prompt because the boot device (a CD) is read-only. As long as you have a mouse.ini file present you should not receive such an error.

Next you need to add a CD-ROM device driver (for example if your CD-ROM drive is an IDE drive you will need a CD-ROM device driver like OAKCDROM.SYS. You also will need to copy the MSCDEX.EXE program to the first Ghost generated floppy. Both are available from old Windows 98 installations.

The Ghost Boot Wizard can also generate these files for you if you can’t easily find them.

To have Ghost generate the files, run the Ghost Boot Wizard again and select the CD/DVD Startup Disk option.

Follow the wizard to create a second set of floppy disks. (Note: Keep your original two disks that were created above, don't write over them as you will need them later.) As before, Ghost will want to create a two floppy disk set however the OAKCDROM.SYS and MSCDEX.EXE files that you need will be created on the first disk so you can cancel the Wizard when asked to insert the second floppy.

You now should have (3) floppies. Two that you created by running the Network Boot Wizard, and a third that you created using the CD/DVD Boot Wizard. On the third floppy are several CD-ROM device driver files including the OAKCDROM.SYS driver and the MSCDEX.EXE file.

Assuming you have an IDE CD-ROM, copy the OAKCDROM.SYS file and MSCDEX.EXE to the first floppy that we previously created. If you have a SCSI CD you will need to copy the appropriate SCSI APSI drivers (as opposed to OAKCDROM.SYS) as well as the MSCDEX.EXE file to the 1st floppy.

After you do that, your 1st boot floppy should look something like this:

Next you will need to edit the CONFIG.SYS file on the first floppy so that it looks like this:

DEVICE=\\net\\protman.dos /I:\\net

Note: DEVICE=OAKCDROM.SYS is the device driver necessary to support most IDE-CDROM drives. If you have a SCSI CD you may need to change that line as appropriate to support your CD.

The DEVICE=net lines load the network drivers for your selected NIC (in this case a 3COM 3C90X card). Your device=lines will vary depending on the NIC that you selected when you generated the initial Network Boot floppy using the Ghost Boot Wizard. By default Ghost looks for the files necessary to initialize the network card in the NET folder.

Next we need to edit the AUTOEXEC.BAT file so that it loads the Microsoft CD-ROM extensions. An example is provided below. By loading the CD-ROM extensions we will be able to load the GHOST.EXE file after the network drivers have loaded.

Sample AUTOEXEC.BAT file:

@echo off
SET TZ=GHO+08:00
mscdex /L:D /d:mscd001
echo Loading Ghost...
cd \\ghost
GHOST.EXE -nousb

Note the MSCDEX line. It will load the CD-ROM as drive letter “D” (with the /L:D parameter) and it is using the device name mscd001. Note that the device name matches the /D: parameter in the CONFIG.SYS file above where the OAKCDROM.SYS file is loaded. If these don’t match things will not work correctly.

As a result of this CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT file, once we create a bootable CD we will have an “A” drive that includes everything that is on the boot floppy (all of the network drivers) and a “D” drive will include the folder with the GHOST executable file.

Finally, note the –nousb option on the line that starts Ghost in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file.

I needed to include this as we have a number of machines that have USB keyboards. Apparently Ghost 8.0 tries to load some USB support in by default so that it can talk to USB disk drives. But in so doing it “breaks” the USB keyboard on several of our Dell machines. (The keyboard becomes unresponsive when Ghost is loaded and you can't do anything other than power-off). By using the –nousb option, our USB keyboards now work correctly. This is backwards from what you would expect. You may not need the nousb option in your environment if you don't have USB keyboards in place.

Creating the Bootable CD

Now that we have a floppy with the necessary files to start the network and with a CONFIG.SYS file that loads the correct network drivers we can finally create a Bootable CD to put all of these things together.

To do that I will illustrate the process using Roxio’s EZ CD Creator 5.x.

Insert your 1st Ghost Network Boot Floppy Disk into your floppy drive.

Open a DOS command prompt (Start, Run, cmd) or Start, Run, Command if you are using Win98 or ME

At the command prompt be sure to mark the files IO.SYS and MSDOS.SYS as system files. If you don’t do this, EZ CD Creator will not create a Bootable CD from the floppy. It will give an error that the floppy cannot be read.

To do that, at the command prompt type:

attrib +s io.sys
attrib +s msdos.sys

Next run EZ CD-Creator. From EZ CD-Creator 5.x select File, New CD Project, Bootable CD.

Make sure that you have your 1st Ghost boot floppy in the disk drive and select the option “Generate Image from Floppy”. Then hit OK. EZ-CD Creator will generate the boot image files necessary to make the CD bootable. When complete you will see something similar to the following:

Next, you will need to add the GHOST.EXE file to this CD.

Since the GHOST.EXE file exists in a folder called GHOST on the 2nd Boot floppy that was created from the Ghost Boot Wizard, replace the first floppy disk that includes the network drivers with the 2nd floppy that the GHOST boot wizard generated.

Note: By default the Ghost Boot Wizard will just put the main Ghost.EXE file on the 2nd floppy. I elected however to manually copy a few other Ghost utilities to that folder just in case I ever needed them. In addition to GHOST.EXE I included GDISK.EXE and OMNIFS.EXE for example. You can add them or not to that 2nd floppy if you think they might be useful.

Additional Note: If you elect to add more to the GHOST folder, it is highly likely that you will run out of space on the 2nd floppy disk. This is actually not a problem. Just copy the GHOST folder from the 2nd floppy disk to a hard disk, add all that you want to it, and then when you burn the CD image you drag the GHOST folder on your hard disk to the CD project rather than using the 2nd floppy.

Once you have everything you like in the GHOST folder (minimally you must have GHOST.EXE) drag that Folder to the EZ-CD Creator Project Window. When you do that things will look like this:

At this point you have all the data you need on the CD. Press the RED RECORD button to generate your bootable CD.

Again at this point when you boot from this CD you will have an “A Drive” that will load the network drivers and then a “D Drive” where the GHOST.EXE file will run from.

Creating a MultiCard Bootable CD

I spent a fair amount of time trying to create a Ghost 8.0 multicard boot CD but I had some trouble. A multicard boot CD would allow me to use a single CD to support multiple NICs. Without that you have to create a different boot CD for each different NIC.

The Ghost 8.0 Boot Wizard can create a multicard boot floppy. However when using a CD-ROM boot disk as opposed to a floppy drive there is a problem.

The method that Symantec uses to create a multicard boot floppy requires write access to the boot disk. Basically they copy around the necessary networking files to the correct location on the floppy to get everything working and modify the PROTOCOL.INI file as needed.

With a boot CD you obviously can’t do this, since a CD is not writeable. I spent a fair amount of time trying to use a RAMDISK and fuss with copying the correct files to the necessary location and then edit the PROTOCOL.INI file on the fly to make everything go.

I eventually scrapped the RAMDISK idea as many of the network drivers failed to load with this method and I resigned myself to having to have a different boot CD for each NIC.

However a couple days after initially giving up, I came up with a simple idea that seems to work.

Since the GHOST.EXE executable is no longer on the 1st boot floppy there actually is a lot of space available on that disk. So…I actually just created a different folder for each network card I needed to support and I copied the appropriate network files and necessary PROTOCOL.INI file into each folder.

Then by using the [menu] option within CONFIG.SYS I can present the end-user with a menu of available NICs. I can then load the necessary files from the folder where the driver and correct PROTOCOL.INI file are located for each NIC.

Here is a sample CONFIG.SYS file for a Multicard Ghost 8.0 Boot CD. This file actually supports the (6) different NICs that I commonly use. Notice the [menu] section. This is where I specify the network cards that I support on this boot CD. Each MENUITEM is a particular NIC.

The first parameter is the menuitem label (and I just used the name of the NIC driver so I wouldn’t get confused), the second parameter is the text that appears on the menu that the user will see when they boot from this CD.

I specified the name of the NIC and some specific models of computers we have that use that NIC to make life easier for me so I don’t have to remember what NIC is in what type of box. You can edit these MENUITEM lines as needed for your environment.

The [COMMON] section includes things I want to happen regardless of the menu selection.

Notice that for each NIC, rather than telling it to us the NET folder for the drivers I tell it to use a folder specifically made for that NIC. Yes there is redundancy as many files are replicated on the floppy, but it works without much effort and doesn’t require using a RAMDISK on a CD. And…now that the GHOST.EXE file isn’t on the floppy, we have the room to do this.

Sample multicard CONFIG.SYS file:

MENUITEM=3C90X, 3Com 3C90x - Dell 340, AOpen PC
MENUITEM=EL556, 3Com EL556 - Thinkpad T20
MENUITEM=B57, Broadcom NetExtreme - Dell 2650 Servers
MENUITEM=E100B, Intel 100B - Thinkpad T22, X30
MENUITEM=E1000, Intel 1000 - Dell 260, Intel 865 mboard
MENUITEM=RTSND, RealTek 8139 - Motion 1300 Tablet


DEVICE=\\3c90x\\protman.dos /I:\\3c90x

DEVICE=\\EL556\\protman.dos /I:\\EL556

DEVICE=\\B57\\protman.dos /I:\\B57

DEVICE=\\E100B\\protman.dos /I:\\E100B

DEVICE=\\E1000\\protman.dos /I:\\E1000

DEVICE=\\RTSND\\protman.dos /I:\\RTSND

Again to make all of this work, there is a folder on the floppy for each NIC. See below for an example directory listing:

Notice that there is still a NET folder, but it actually is just a master location where I put all the NDIS drivers. The only file in that folder that you must keep is NETBIND.EXE as it is called from the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. The rest of the files in the NET folder can potentially be deleted and everything would work OK if you need more space to add additional NICs to this floppy.

Inside each folder for the specific NIC, (3c90x, b57, e1000, e100b, el556, and rtsnd) you will find the following files: DIS_PKT.DOS, NETBIND.COM, PROTMAN.EXE, and PROTMAN.DOS. These are the same and in every folder for each NIC.

In addition there is the .DOS file that is the NDIS2 driver for the NIC in question. In this case EL90X.DOS. And finally there is a PROTOCOL.INI file that is appropriate for that NIC.

Here is a 2nd example. This one is the for the Intel 1000 GB NIC (e1000.dos) driver:

So in essence, to create a Multicard Ghost 8.0 Boot CD the process is quite simple.

  1. Edit the CONFIG.SYS file and create a new menu item for each NIC that you wish to support. Use the example CONFIG.SYS above as a guide.
  2. Create a new folder for each NIC and in that folder place the files: DIS_PKT.DOS, NETBIND.COM, PROTMAN.DOS, and PROTMAN.EXE.
  3. Copy the appropriate NDIS2 driver for that network card to that same folder. (e.g. E1000.DOS for the Intel GB card, or EL90X.DOS for a 3Com 3C90X)
  4. Create a PROTOCOL.INI file in that folder (you can copy the protocol.ini file from an existing folder), edit the last line so that the correct driver name is specified. You can optionally add additional options to the PROTOCOL.INI file that are appropriate for that NIC if you need to.

Once you have this floppy built with these files and folders, follow the same steps as above to create your bootable CD-ROM by running EZ CD-Creator and select File -> New -> Bootable CD. And then:

  1. Generate the Bootable CD image from the floppy.
  2. Remove the first floppy, insert the 2nd Ghost floppy that includes the GHOST folder that has the GHOST.EXE file in it and then you drag the GHOST folder to your CD project.
  3. Record the CD and you are done.

Disk Download

To get your started quickly, I have zipped up a version of my multicard boot floppy that you can download as a sample. Please note that I have not included on the disk the Windows 98 boot files, MOUSE.COM, MSCDEX.EXE, or OAKCDROM.SYS. Sorry about that but I wasn't sure I could legally re-distribute them. Therefore you will need to first create a bootable floppy disk on your own, and then add those files yourself to the floppy. Again if you use the Ghost Boot Disk Wizard and select the "CD/DVD Startup Disk" option, the files I have not included will be placed on the floppy that it creates. You will probably have to clean it up though to remove the "stuff" that you don't actually need. See the listing of files that are in the root of the A: drive above as an example.

Once you have that complete you should be able to extract this ZIP file to your floppy.

The resulting floppy will be used to generate a Floppy Disk Boot image from within EZ CD Creator. You also will need a second floppy that has a folder called "GHOST" on it, and that you have copied the GHOST.EXE file to. Again I can't give this to you since I'm sure Symantec would not like me distributing copies of the GHOST executable! Once you have that floppy however, just add it to your project in EZ CD Creator (see instructions above) and you should be all set.

If you already have OAKCDROM.SYS and MSCDEX.EXE on hand, just copy them to the root of the 1st floppy disk that was created above and you can skip this next step.

Last update: 2009-09-04 16:04
Author: Scott Barker
Revision: 1.1

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Comment of Old Comments:

Comment Phillip Carroll
March 30, 2005 at 10:37am
Tony this question is for you. How do you go about making a auto detect nic multi boot cd rom? I have at least 4 differnet nics I use here and I have a cdrom loaded with the drivers and everything but I have to manully pick which driver to use. I am very interested in your auto detect method. Thanks
Comment Patrick
March 30, 2005 at 4:56am

Hey man.

Thanks for this nice "HOWTO"

I made a nice bootable cd with 2 menu options (intel 1000 and the realtek nic).

Works perfect, after 3 tries :)

Tip for other people: Use rewritable cd's :)
Comment Keith
March 29, 2005 at 1:28pm

Attachment Missing
The zip of the bootable CD image is missing from the site now...does anyone have it, or know where I can get it?

Thanks, and good article.
Comment Carlos
March 28, 2005 at 5:56pm

Network + USB options
So we know that we can have a working disk ready to work with the network cards and i've seen it working cause i made a simple one with a lot of problems but it worked... how would anyone also include the option of having usb enable in conjuntion with the network.... any one ideas are well taken..... "i try didn't work"
Comment CArlos
March 28, 2005 at 5:42pm

tomy can you share the files.. not ghost but the other files
Comment Tony Smith
March 24, 2005 at 2:03pm
I created a network multicard template Ghost boot CD about 6 months ago using similar method as the author. I found that pcidet.dos insists on writing files to the A drive which was a problem when booting from a CD. The solution was to create a ram drive and copy the \net and \Ghost directories from the floppies created by the Ghost Boot Wizard to the ramdrive. Then you need a program like that loads drivers in autoexec.bat instead of config.sys. Before pcidet.dos runs you need to use the assign statement to map your ramdrive to A: My config.sys looks like this:

device=oakcdrom.sys /d:cdrom
DEVICE=HIMEM.SYS /testmem:off
device=a:\ramdrive.sys 4096 /e

My autoexec.bat looks like this:

rem @echo off
SET TZ=GHO+07:00
prompt $p$g
mscdex /d:cdrom /L:x

rem----- Copy the necessary system files to the ramdrive
copy c:
copy c:
copy autoexec.bat c:
copy comp.dat c:
copy c:

rem----- Copy the nic card folder and Ghost program to the ramdrive
xcopy x:\net*.* c:\net\ /s/v
xcopy x:\ghost*.* c:\ghost\ /s/v

rem----- The assign statement is necessary because pcidet.dos copies to A:
assign a:=c:

device \net\pcidet.dos
device \net\protman.dos /I:\net
device \net\dis_pkt.dos

call \net\doit.bat

rem echo Loading...
cd \ghost

I have recently created a new boot cd that uses pciscan.exe instead of pcidet.dos to detect the network card. With this I don't need the assign statement and it will be easier to add new NIC's
Comment Joshua
March 23, 2005 at 7:39am
Tony Ghost 8.0 has the drive b57.dos, it works with the broadcon Gigabyte cards
March 19, 2005 at 1:29am

Comment Kim Greene
March 8, 2005 at 7:34am

Broadcom 570x Problem
I successfully created the bootable CD for the 3Com 3C90x driver. Now need to make for Broadcom 570x driver (B57.dos). I saved the driver to an already functional 3C90x bootable floppy and changed the driver references in the appropriate files. Then, made a floppy image with my burn software (also checked to make CD bootable). The CD will not work. At the point it says it is waiting for DHCP, I get a INVALID DEVICE REQUEST WRITING DRIVE A error. I REM'd out cause I don't need the mouse anyway. Still no go. Any ideas?
Comment Steven
March 3, 2005 at 8:24am
use a bart cd (google it) to load up the networking, and integrate your host into that ...
Comment Antonio
February 22, 2005 at 6:23am

I have Ramdisk configuration I am willing to post
I have created a Ghost Bootable CD for Ghost 7.5 that uses a Ramdisk to write files into memory, before continuing. I am willing to share this and post it to this article if the writer is willing.

Perhaps someone else can use that to try to figure out a way to make it work with Ghost 8.0.

Also, I am researching a way to load all the files into Ramdisk from a Network Server. If anyone has any ideas, I am willing to share what I have and maybe together we can figure it out and post our findings here.

tonio s.
Comment Jeff Pearson
February 15, 2005 at 5:03am

System Technician
Terrific article!
We at TENCorp support a number of networks and image a good deal of the computers either in our lab or on site. Lately, many of the computers lack floppy drives and we have been looking for workable solutions but have not found the necessary support from Symantec. This article gives easy-to-follow directions to elegant solutions, with technology that is at everyone's fingertips.
Thank you for posting so that everyone benefits!
Comment Jack
February 11, 2005 at 6:02pm

I have searched HI and LOW for this exact info, specifically for the CONFIG.SYS entries. Although I am not using this to make a bootable CD, this same information is what I needed to be able to boot to a USB memory stick and load the necessary NIC along with GHOST.

Thank you so much for taking the time to place this information out here.
Comment Greg
February 10, 2005 at 7:56am

Wow Thanks!
I was thinking about moving ghost booting to CD as I start working with 8.x, you have done the work for me! This disk is easy to implement, and easy to add other NIC's provided NDIS drivers are avabile. Also, lots of new systems don't have floppy's anymore, this CD solves that problem too.

Thanks for this useful writeup!
Comment Roman
February 9, 2005 at 6:04am

Loading Ghost .....
Tony, I have the same problem. I'm afraid, it's not the problem of the way how did you create this bootable disk. Or, if anyone would help us, it would be great :) .
I tried it on my laptop, which doesn't have floppy drive, so I couldn't test, if it would work with original 2 floppy discs made with Symantec Ghost . But, with older versions of symantec Ghost it works. I think it's problem of incompatibility of motherboard with ghost 8.0 or something like this.
Comment Per christian Losnedal
February 8, 2005 at 2:05pm

System Administrator
This was wery helpfull, but i miss the posibility to use the ghostcast function. What do i need to do to get this function to work. If there is anyone who has found a way thru this problem, an will share it, i will be forever thankfull.
Comment karen
February 7, 2005 at 8:37am

IT Technician
I too was grateful to find your instructions through a Google search, particularly the Multi-NIC instructions as it was a little more involved than I anticipated. However, I am running into the error where it cannot find ghost.exe or sometimes even the Ghost directory when it boots in DOS mode, yet when I reboot in Windows, I can see my file just fine. I did not see anyone mention an answer to that issue.
Comment Arisus
February 6, 2005 at 6:49am

Thank you very much.
adding mouse.ini solved all my problems
Comment David
February 2, 2005 at 8:38am

Field System Administrator
I seem to get everything to boot up and load, but from the main screen the GhostCast option is grayed I missing somthing?
Comment David
February 2, 2005 at 8:33am

Field System Administrator
I seem to get everything working, but as soon as everything is loaded the Ghostcast option is greyed i missing somthing?
Comment Tim
January 31, 2005 at 3:02pm

When does it "copy around" the drivers?
I can tell this is a great thing Mark has figured out, but before I make this disk i had a question for anyone that could help me.

I noticed in the floppy version of the boot disks, that in the folder at A:\NET with a mulitple nic boot card that there was a folder for each card, containing a .bat file for each one, all having the same name, in my case DOIT.bat. Then there is a DOIT.bat in the root of the disk. So I think, if I have it correctly, the ghost boot autodetects and searches the net folders for the appropriate bat, then copies it to the root replacing the DOIT.bat in the root as the appropriate one...

If this is the case, where is the Copy command executed, and why can't it, once it locates the appropriate nic files, update the protocol.ini file and continue the install right from that point, rather than copying it over? In otherwords why not just cut out that copy command and have it just run once it locates the appropriate files?

The only reason i say this is to try to cut out the menu step... so you don't have to select which card you want. Essentially that adds the step of swapping cards right back in there... I think... I may be way off... someone please fill me in...

Comment Tony
January 25, 2005 at 7:41pm

Loading Ghost......
Great article;could not wait to try it out. Everything works fine until it starts to load the ghost .exe (from the second disk).? It will not finish loading, anyone HELP!!!!!! I know that it must someting i overlooked, but i am on a deadline and i have many units to GHOST, help!!!!

Comment Peter
January 19, 2005 at 6:44am
Will this work with a USB Key?
Comment Rhyous
January 18, 2005 at 9:17am

You know...G4U is a simple program that is free and copies and image to an FTP site.

It comes in floppy or CD-ROM size.

I guess the only thing it lacks is multicast?
Comment Barry Stacy
January 14, 2005 at 1:28pm

PC Technician
Thank you for setting me in the right direction.
If I can get this to work correctly it will be a God send.

Right before loads I get an error that it can not write to drive a:
At this point I just hit F for Fail and the mouse driver loads.

Right after the mouse driver loads I get an error that says it can not write to GHOSTERR.TXT which is understandable since it is a CD. That error just keeps rapidly scrolling on the screen.
What file or operation is it that is trying to write to this text file?

How do I alleviate this? I am not sure what this line in my autoexec.bat is: prompt $p$g

Thank you for any help you can offer.

My autoexec.bat
@echo off
mscdex /L:D /d:mscd001
prompt $p$g
echo Loading Ghost
cd \ghost
GHOST.EXE –nousb

My config.sys
DEVICE=\net\protman.dos /I:\net
Comment Matthew
January 11, 2005 at 2:50pm
I was wondering if anyone has has noticed the error that when trying to connect to a norton ghostcast, that it can't seem to resolve the packet driver and IP address? I'm using a standard router with just a cable connecting to it and from that to the computer with the ghostcast running.

If anyone has any suggestions/fixes, please post.
Comment teksas
January 4, 2005 at 3:30pm
Comment ron
December 23, 2004 at 9:30am

memory error message
when i try to run the 8.0 ghost.exe i am getting an error message that says program is to big to run in memory. how do i get around this.
Comment Pat
December 23, 2004 at 6:14am
I still don't see how to make the cd bootable. i.e. no floppy involved.
Comment Andrew
December 15, 2004 at 1:01pm
Excellent article.. however I've run into the problem that it does not see the Ghost folder once added to the CD. If I boot to the CD, everything works up until the point that it tries to load ghost.exe. I thought this was odd, so I brought up the command prompt and found that it does not see the GHOST folder. However, within Windows, it does. What can I do to fix this?

I also wanted to ask if the CD must be finalized in order for it to read properly. I'd love to be able to add more network drivers later on and save the CD's...
Comment Leon
December 14, 2004 at 10:20am
I followed your procedure to the letter. Same NIC, save version of Roxio, save version of Ghost. Edited the config.sys and others. Checked them twice. Still no boot.
Comment Dan Watson
December 2, 2004 at 7:35pm

I would have bet against it - it works! Bravo!
I followed the network boot cd instructions and made a cd
with Nero express 6. I boot from the CD, it loads the 3c905 driver, and I can drop a drive image to my ghostcast 8.0 server.

If I ever meet the author he gets a cold beer and a pat on the back. Why doesn't Symantec hire this guy?

Dan Watson 12.03.04
Comment DeathToFloppies
December 1, 2004 at 5:09pm
All I have to say is this has to be the most useful piece of information I have gotten in a while. Symantec should hire you on the spot. Why Symantec has not added this feature is mind boggling to me. Also thanks for the help with the MOUSE.COM guys, too bad I didn't read the posts below and had to figure it out on my own.
Comment A UK School
November 25, 2004 at 8:30am

IT Tech
I would like to say a biiiig Thanks!!
We have one main computer room full of computers with only a CDROM and ive been spending ages trying to work out how to ghost them (without console) and now I can :)
Comment I try Doing everything You guys said
November 23, 2004 at 1:24pm

Ghost Boot CD
let's say that I just want to create a Ghost cd to boot from my CD and extract the file from a USB HDD I still have some problems with the mouse.

@echo off
SET TZ=GHO+08:00
mscdex /L:D /d:mscd001
Comment Tom
November 16, 2004 at 12:41pm

Great article, verry helpful.

I found it necesary to add the mouse.ini file to stop machines from giving the error.
Comment Benson
November 11, 2004 at 8:03pm
I want to know that if i have many many NIC driver,but the floppy driver only have 1.44MB. How can i make more NIC driver to my ghost boot disk.

I can successful to make a boot disk before read your articale.
That is the great job
thx so much
Comment Bill Gerlach
November 9, 2004 at 1:58pm
Thanks for this great tutorial.

I'm only running into 1 problem. I sure hope someone can help me. I need to create a boot disk with "drive mapping network support" instead of just a "network boot disk". However, I also need to have 4-5 drivers for various nics on the floppy just as Scott explains. My problem is, I don't have enough room on a floppy to have both the drivers, and the files needed for drive mapping! Anyone have an idea or way around this?

Comment pctech
October 27, 2004 at 10:26am
Hi Scott:

Thanks for making this information available. I found this site thru a Google search. Being able to make a bootable mutlinic cd has been a great help as opposed to making floppies that sometimes develop read errors and cannot be read. You should also check out this site: It is a free download that has many useful and free tools built in, and you can also customize it to add your own files, such as Ghost.
Comment elaine
October 19, 2004 at 9:58am
How would I get this to work with net use so I can mount drives to ghost to?
Comment Jaruwat
October 17, 2004 at 11:38pm
very nice ,thank you.
Comment vietpip
October 12, 2004 at 12:19pm
good instructions and everything works perfectly HOWEVER :) it seems like you can only create a boot disk with around 5 nic instead of 100+ since you need to create it from the diskettes and only 5 drivers will fit on each diskette. Is there a way to add 100+ drivers onto the CD rom instead?
Comment Shaon94
October 12, 2004 at 9:52am

Great Job
I just can not belive Ghost has droped the ball on this and is still requiring people to use floppies.

Great job! Especially on the multiple NIC boot disk.

Comment TS
October 12, 2004 at 6:05am
I did everything as described , however keep getting error 'general failure writing drive A'.

Can anyone help me out PLEASE !
It would mean a lot if I could get this thing working properly.

Thanks in advance.
Comment KyDave
October 6, 2004 at 9:42am

District Technology Office, Shelby County Public Schools
Awesome!! After beating my head for several hours, I found this page - and it changed mt life!

Well, ok, maybe it didn't truly change me, but sure made life easier!

The directions are clear, straight-forward and accurate. This is the most well-put-together doumentation I've EVER found relating to Ghost. I've worked with (read: struggled with) the program on and off for years, and have never found any documentation anywhere near this caliber.

Hats off and a hearty THANKS
Comment Paquette
October 4, 2004 at 7:05am

Error in ghost.exe
Hi there, I did what mention above, it works perfectly until it tries to run ghost.exe. I always get an error in memory module. Any ideas?

Thanks for the good job by the way!
Comment Pip
September 23, 2004 at 12:02pm

Pretty good outline of what to do however this would mean I can only have around 6ish amount of drivers. Since I can only make the bootable CD from the bootable floppy. I can only fit around 6 drivers onto the floppy. Is there a way to add more than 6 onto the CD? How would you convert those extras into an image as well?
Comment Marcos Ortiz
September 20, 2004 at 2:46pm

Took me a while to figure it.
This is the guide I was looking for since Symantec are so incopetent to write it for us. Thank god someone with a brain did it. Thanks a lot to the article writer and to those who place their input inline, it really help out the feetback to figure out problems.
Comment Mike
September 19, 2004 at 10:45pm

Systems Administrator
Gday there. I am an old DOS guru, and have become an expert in Network Drivers, Boot Cd's and menu's Etc etc etc. I have been working on a solution to this kind of problem, and banging my head against the wall for months.

Awsome of you to have found that the Protocol.ini file loads from the specified device driver folder. Such a simple, elegant and obvious solution once known. No-where else on the NET has ANYONE posted this information - I kept trying to get multiple nics to work in a:\net\protocol.ini (As it has been for years.)

Great work !! Now I WILL create a boot cd with a menu for every network card and boot kind we have in here. Happy to post it for you guys later if you want - just email me. It will not be bigger then 2.8 mb.


Comment ronald
September 13, 2004 at 9:53pm
willthis work also for usb cd-roms? thanks.
Comment Dex
September 3, 2004 at 2:47am

thanks a lot for making this howto, i've been looking online for a long long time for this information.

i only wish that the people of Symantec took this kinda trouble in the future...
Comment Kevin K
August 27, 2004 at 12:33pm

WOW. This works.
I was fumbleing, This works well
Comment j_w
August 22, 2004 at 9:22pm

Broadcom Drivers
here you go gentlemen,

there are drivers available for the Broadcom Gigabit NIC
Comment vince
August 20, 2004 at 10:11am

Thanks for all your hard work. ... Followed your examples and the boot up cd actually works!
Comment Jay
August 13, 2004 at 9:34am

Ntldr error
I created the single NIC boot cd with no problem, works flawlessly. following the instructions for the multi NIC cd I get an ntldr error when it boots off of the CD, any help would be appreciated. Good job nevertheless!!!!
Comment Ian Johnson
August 13, 2004 at 12:58am

Regarding Rebooting when ghost run...

I too had the mouse problem shown below and added the mouse.ini to solve it.
Then it would not load ghost at the final stage (file not found). A dir on d:\ showed no files. a:\ had all the files, but d:\ had no files and therefore ghost wouldn't run (not sure why??).
When I went to a:\ghost and typed ghost.exe it would immediately reboot on my T20 IBM laptop.
From the Symantec site... I added himem.sys and ghost ran fine from the A:\ with networking...

Comment Ned
July 30, 2004 at 2:24am
Well Done! Two thumbs up.
Comment Kim
July 22, 2004 at 7:02pm

i noticed you have d: as cdrom, although its assigning this letter, i would have preferred a %cdrom% command in autoexec.bat, so i'll try to work this in. Also if anyone has created the be all and end all boot image, pls post a link; this is much easier than having so many personalized versions!
Comment Eric Tran
July 8, 2004 at 8:50am

Never worked for me
I spent couple days to do this but couldn't get it to work.

This is what happend:
First, the bootdisk showed the menu and I selected a NIC from that
Then it look CD driver
Then tried to load NIC driver which it said can't find
It then assigned CD letter which I think it should do before it load the NIC driver.

Anyone can help me to solve the problem? Thanks.
Comment Waleed
July 1, 2004 at 5:41am

mapped network boot CD
I was just wondering if it was possible to create a boot cd with the ability to create a mapped network drive with all the nic drivers in it
Comment David
June 28, 2004 at 12:49pm

What did I do wrong?
Thanks for all the hard work.
Followed instructions, created CD. Machine kept rebooting.
Any suggestions,
Comment Eric
June 21, 2004 at 12:38pm

Good instructions but how about creating a MultipleNIC drivers Ghost boot CD with NICautodetect.
Right now, you choose the drivers from the config.sys list..
I've been looking for a solution for this for a while. But no luck.
Anyone has an solution for this ?
Comment George Fong
June 19, 2004 at 12:23pm
General failure writing drive A:???? after it loads network drivers but does not load ghost
Comment Brian
June 18, 2004 at 9:57pm
I am getting a Not Ready Reading Drive D: message after the NIC drivers are loaded. GHOST tries to load but displays Not Ready Reading Drive D:
Comment Ben
June 9, 2004 at 5:06am

Important Note for Static IP
First, let me applaud the author on a marvelous job in supporting an exrtemely important feature that Symantec has dropped the ball on.

To those who are creating this disk set in a Static IP environment, one change is necessary. When the boot disk is created, it sticks a file called WATTCP.CFG into the GHOST folder. Per these instructions, this file ends up in the boot sector of the CD, but Ghost doesn't seem to see it there. Copy this file and put it into the GHOST folder that we write outside of the boot files on the CD, and Ghost will see the config file and adjust appropriately.

Thanks again for this great guide.
Comment shawn
June 8, 2004 at 5:45pm
the article helped tremendously, but how about the 3com 3c920b-emb integrated nic...having problems locating drivers for it
Comment Stuart
June 3, 2004 at 12:54pm
thanks a lot. This has really helped our efficiency here. I applaud your efforts.
Comment John
May 19, 2004 at 8:37am

mouse & write error fix
Thank you so much, Scott! This now allows us to avoid playing with slow, unstable floppies on 100 machines in our computer labs.

To avoid trying to write to the filesystem, create a mouse.ini with the contents:



I found this out by testing the CD setup on a floppy without ghost.exe.
Comment Eric
May 3, 2004 at 4:33pm

Where i can find the NDIS2 for compaq's netelligent 10/100 network card
Where i can find the NDIS2 for compaq's netelligent 10/100 network card.
Comment Sharkbait
May 2, 2004 at 12:22am
Great article! I've also been looking for this solution for a while now so your info came in very handy. Thanks for all your hard work putting it together.

Regarding the error, I got around that by:
1. Modifying my autoexec.bat to look like this:
@echo off
mscdex /L:D /d:mscd001
echo Loading Ghost...
cd \ghost
GHOST.EXE -nousb
2. Adding from the floppy drive to the destination GHOST folder in my burning program (i.e. along with GHOST.EXE).

These adjustments force to be loaded from D: instead of from A: (the emulated floppy).
Comment Shane
April 23, 2004 at 12:31pm
This is what I've been looking for, for months...

Thanks for the hard work.. I'm also getting the problem with the mouse and writing to A:

Other than that, it works great... very slow, however (about 6mb a min)

Comment Giskard Reventlov
April 7, 2004 at 2:01pm

Everything works like a charm BUT!
I get the write error on A:\ and is never loaded as a result mouse does not work.

The ghosting can still be done by navigating with the keyboard.

Any thoughts why ?
Comment Jean
April 6, 2004 at 10:59am
I have been able to make a boot CD with the Broadcom b57.dos driver by following these instructions, however, I cannot make it autodetect and load ghost manually. Can anyone provide me with guidance on this issue?
Comment Paul
April 2, 2004 at 10:45am
Make it autodetect, then you really got something cool. I used ghost's autodect method combined with barts boot disk to make a cd that will autodect and load ghost automaticly. It's difficult to add new nics on my version, I really need to try to convert barts boot disk to my needs since it's easy to update.

Oh, ndis driver for broadcom? I've never had a prob with the b57.dos driver from broadcom. Should be able to grab it from the website.
Comment Melvin Fields
March 31, 2004 at 11:54pm

Excellent How-To!
Thanks a million for taking the time to put together this How-To, I have been looking everywhere for this exact info. Problem started when we got in a new batch of Dell Dimension 2400 PC's without floppy drives, we always would pull image from Ghost server with network boot floppies, but now no floppy! As a quick workaround we hung a floppy on the motherboard to pull the image for these machines, but with more and more machines shipping without floppies (especially laptops) this CD will become an invaluable tool. I can't believe Ghost didn't include native support for creating a bootable network CD, I'm sure future versions will. Thanks again!
Comment dEf
March 31, 2004 at 5:06am
sorry i forgot to comment Scott's article

this is not bad solution but you lose NIC autodetection. there is a nice alternative for network bootdisk (u just add ghost):
Comment dEf
March 31, 2004 at 4:55am
you aren't true. i found NDIS driver for HP's Broadcom gigabit cards some time ago. just don't remember where :)
if you need it, leave me a message

in the readme header they talk about some altiris product , which is used in hp rapid deployment pack, so i think this driver is used there (pxe boot then pqdi used to deploy the system image)
Comment Tony Edwards
February 18, 2004 at 8:58am

Limitations of network boot disks
This is a good article, but and there is always a but :-), I am becoming a believer in conspiracy theory.

HP for one, and I suspect other manufacturers too, are now using the Broadcom Gbit embedded NIC chips. These do not have any NDIS drivers.

At home I have recently bought an ASUS motherboard with an embedded 3Com Gbit NIC chip. That also does not have any NDIS drivers either!

The only way to get these onto the network without an installed OS is via PXE, another subject altogether.

There is another possibility that occurs to me although I am the first to admit I have no knowledge of this area, but since this is an acedemic institution there should be plenty of people around to ask. It is easy to make a Linux boot CD, so could Ghost be made to run under Linux ???
Added at: 2038-01-19 04:14